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CHALLENGE CUP - TIME FOR A CHANGE


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#41 Dave T

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:35 PM

Just to be clear, the Challenge Cup makes a profit, provides the club game's six biggest TV audiences of the year by a significant margin over the rest, and the biggest physical attendance being one of only two matches to attract over 30,000.

And those who say the game is financially in trouble and complain about the lack of exposure want to scrap it.

+1 (minus the first four words)



#42 Mumby Magic

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:15 PM

Just to be clear, the Challenge Cup makes a profit, provides the club game's six biggest TV audiences of the year by a significant margin over the rest, and the biggest physical attendance being one of only two matches to attract over 30,000.

And those who say the game is financially in trouble and complain about the lack of exposure want to scrap it.

There's no place for common sense on here!

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#43 Bulliac

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:34 PM

We have a bee in our bonnet like no other about one sided games like no other sport. It will happen at any level at any time. If say Wigan beat Widnes by 80 do we say lets have 13 in SL, Leeds beat Bulls by 76 Lets make it 12 to stop these one sided games. If games are one sided at ANY level in ANY competition then so be it. As a regular contributor on here and if you take the time to look at my post I post unbiasedly about the Bulls. I am a RL fan and concerned about the game and constant - if you excuse the terminology - farting around with the game can do more harm than good. Toulouse not so long back, a French semi pro club got to the Semis if memory serves me correct beating SL opposition along the way. Why should the Cup be placed in the hands of SL clubs? What about the extra revenue that the visit of Hull, Leeds or Wigan can generate to say Gateshead, Oldham or Skolars.

O and if you want me to refer to my club we got stuffed 71-10 in a CC Cup semi-final before the game went fully pro.

I think you're correct to say that one sided games can occur at any level, RL is just that kind of game where a team gets a roll on and becomes unstoppable, though the example of the Wigan v Bulls semi, even though it was a good time ago, isn't really THAT different to the conditions we see today.

I would mention that you say the game "went fully pro", though, of course, it never did; only the top division went fully pro. So the semi you quoted was actually very much like the Rochdale Bulls game last weekend, with one fully pro team and one made up of part-timers.

Incidentally, the only other team making a pretence of being full-time back then was Leeds - who had over 80 put past them in a play-off by Wigan and were beaten by a bigger margin than we were in the semi, which I guess proves the point.
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#44 Gav Wilson

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:43 PM

Leave it as it is.

 

Maybe move the Final back the then end of May if we absolutely must make any changes.

 

Or include CC games in the season ticket and increase central funding to the Championship clubs to negate any gate losses.

 

But leave the structure of the Cup alone.


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#45 Mumby Magic

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:22 PM

I think you're correct to say that one sided games can occur at any level, RL is just that kind of game where a team gets a roll on and becomes unstoppable, though the example of the Wigan v Bulls semi, even though it was a good time ago, isn't really THAT different to the conditions we see today.

I would mention that you say the game "went fully pro", though, of course, it never did; only the top division went fully pro. So the semi you quoted was actually very much like the Rochdale Bulls game last weekend, with one fully pro team and one made up of part-timers.

Incidentally, the only other team making a pretence of being full-time back then was Leeds - who had over 80 put past them in a play-off by Wigan and were beaten by a bigger margin than we were in the semi, which I guess proves the point.

Exactly about the semi and I meant SL going fully pro. All these random ideas by even the hierachy in RL really do get on my proverbials though. This is why the game never really progresses to the extent it should. For me I'd leave the Challenge cup as it is. I'd open up the earlier rounds to more and more teams, amateur that is. Invite a Russian side, maybe more French, the varsity sides, a Scottish select team, Ireland league select team. It is our only fully RL competition so lets celebrate it. Lets not play into the hands of SL clubs cos 3 fixtures or so were one sided this week. Imagine if a path was open for an Oxford Varsity team could at some stage potentially play Wigan. (Hypatheically of course). To make that potential close even harder is a mere self strangulation for RL.

Edited by Mumby Magic, 23 April 2013 - 07:23 PM.

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#46 Rugby League Wiki

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:40 PM

We should definitely keep it. Good public profile, great history, etc.

 

Because of its presence on the BBC, it's a great way of exposing new people to the game. Perhaps we could build on this idea - using it as an opportunity to aggressively promote the sport e.g. by keeping ticket prices as low as we can, making sure children get in free, encouraging visits from various groups, clubs and schools.

 

On the cup itself:

 

I wrote an article here about how the RFL might want to consider an unobstrusive handicap for when teams come from different divisions/tiers of the game - for example, take interchanges from the higher level team and give to the lower level one.

 

John Ledger of the RFL responded with their current thinking here.



#47 hindle xiii

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:56 AM

I'd make the round more regular, at present; R4 - 3 weeks - R5 - 9 weeks - QF - 2 weeks - SF - 4 weeks - Final. I'd probably move the final to earlier in the year too, maybe July, I don't understand why it has to be on a Bank Holiday, it went from May Bank Holiday to August Bank Holiday.


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#48 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:03 AM

I don't believe a handicap is a way forward. It would completely devalue the competition's integrity. Sporting contests are about which team is the best in the same set of laws of the game. If a lower league team wins under a handicap, what does it really prove?

If the laws are changed, they have to be applied to both teams. Whether it benefits one over the other is down to that individual team, but things must be equal.

I think, without changing the game too much, having more substitutes on the bench and allowing more interchanges could be a positive for the cup. If players get tired in the lower team, they can have more rests. There's be more specialist cover in the bench instead if utility players. And for the higher teams, it would allow them to blood more youngsters, whilst keeping the odd star on the bench "just in case".

I can't say for definite, but I'm pretty sure that football allows for different numbers in the bench in different competitions (though you're only allowed 3 subs still).
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#49 roughyedspud

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:37 AM

handicapping would kill it completely...



aside from scraping it.....i would be in favour of having 2 comps (challenge cup for SL clubs & challenge trophy/bowl for championship clubs),as many have said, is the only viable option....the challenge trophy/bowl final has to be played at wembley

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#50 MOT

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:44 AM

it should be saved.Run two cup comps or even three one for the full time pros one for semi pros and one for the amateurs.Theres very few shocks in cup now days. IF for example we reward the top two teams in championship a place in the pro cup what reward for there seasons efforts. At least its something since promotion isnt on the table or may be even the top ten teams to have a comp of 24 where top 8 in super league get a bye in round one and join the 8 winners in round two.

Exactly what I was about to say (ish). Leave the CC as it is but run a cup or two cups for the semi pros and the amateurs.

 

It's only really the fourth round that you could perhaps argue there are more whitewashes than not but there's bound to be a gulf between Full time pros and other players. The other cup(s) could be games(s) prior to the CC final at Wembley, it'd make the ticket price more acceptable and could even increase the attendance.

 

Marketing of the Challenge Cup in it's current guise could be better. I got an email promoting the Final (which is what the RFL seem to have their hopes pinned on), together with a mention of the fourth round games, on the eve of the Leeds v Cas game



#51 Rugby League Wiki

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:08 AM

It would completely devalue the competition's integrity. Sporting contests are about which team is the best in the same set of laws of the game. If a lower league team wins under a handicap, what does it really prove?

...

I think, without changing the game too much, having more substitutes on the bench and allowing more interchanges could be a positive for the cup. If players get tired in the lower team, they can have more rests. There's be more specialist cover in the bench instead if utility players. And for the higher teams, it would allow them to blood more youngsters, whilst keeping the odd star on the bench "just in case".

I can't say for definite, but I'm pretty sure that football allows for different numbers in the bench in different competitions (though you're only allowed 3 subs still).

 

Yes, I agree with you on that: there is a risk to having different rules for different teams. A difference in interchanges, I think, might be something that could be got away with, though.

 

You could argue that there is a big handicap in the cup now that isn't questioned: three very different salary caps on clubs in the top three leagues. We know why they exist, but that rule from the league competitions is impacting on the cup. I'm not suggesting lower league teams could afford to cover the difference, but they aren't being allowed to spend even part of it; maybe enough for one additional player.

 

There's an arguement that other sports don't massage their rules and that mismatches looks exaggerated in rugby league because of its nature. Rugby league isn't those other sports, however, maybe we need a unique solution. And clubs in the FA Cup don't have a salary cap.



#52 Rugby League Wiki

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:10 AM

I like the plate and bowl idea, by the way. It would also remove some of the disadvantage in the league campaign for teams that remain in the cup longer.



#53 koli

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 10:28 AM

The irony is that a Wembley appearance is far and away the single biggest marginal income generator for a club.
So you have a situation that the biggest money spinning game (the final) has a devalued series of rounds to get there.

#54 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:31 PM

Yes, I agree with you on that: there is a risk to having different rules for different teams. A difference in interchanges, I think, might be something that could be got away with, though.

You could argue that there is a big handicap in the cup now that isn't questioned: three very different salary caps on clubs in the top three leagues. We know why they exist, but that rule from the league competitions is impacting on the cup. I'm not suggesting lower league teams could afford to cover the difference, but they aren't being allowed to spend even part of it; maybe enough for one additional player.

There's an arguement that other sports don't massage their rules and that mismatches looks exaggerated in rugby league because of its nature. Rugby league isn't those other sports, however, maybe we need a unique solution. And clubs in the FA Cup don't have a salary cap.

The salary cap isn't a law of the game though. It is a rule that clubs have to work by, but the actual game itself has nothing to do with quotas or caps. If you change any law of a game for just one team, it completely takes away any integrity that competition would have.
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#55 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:46 PM

I think a Plate and Bowl would be a great addition, but it's just finding a format that works. I think it would be far easier to sell than the NRC, which from what I gather on here is seen a lot as a Mickey Mouse competition. A trip to Wembley would interest a lot of people. The buzz on the radio about Grimsby getting to the FA Trophy final was great to hear.
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#56 Mumby Magic

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:35 PM

I like the plate and bowl idea, by the way. It would also remove some of the disadvantage in the league campaign for teams that remain in the cup longer.

It will also remove the prestige of the C Cup and they will be more lop sided scores as some clubs may not try as hard as they will have another, easier, chance to get to Wembley.

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#57 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:23 PM


It will also remove the prestige of the C Cup and they will be more lop sided scores as some clubs may not try as hard as they will have another, easier, chance to get to Wembley.


How would it remove the prestige? And which clubs wouldn't try as hard in the cup?
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#58 Steve Slater

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 08:58 PM

More should be done to get maximum bums on seats. The London - Fev attendance was a joke, and theyr'e now playing Bradford on a Friday night! They should be made to play when visiting fans can get there! Likewise with other mid-week games involving long distance motorway journeys, it's not fair on the travelling support!
BTW about London:- If they can't get decent crowds, either kick them out or find a sponsor to pay so they can reduce prices, even if they have to pull folk in off the street for free! (For the time being at least!)

Club call would also be a good idea in the earlier rounds, especially involving the amateurs. Both sides would have to agree though, but ties like Fev v Sharlston, Halifax v Siddall, would create massive local interest and get even bigger crowds than against most Championship sides. Some of the top amateur sides might fancy their chances against the lower proffessional clubs, but they always seem to get drawn away. Maybe they should get home advantage at their nearest pro ground?

We seem to get matches played all over the weekend, afternoons and evenings from Thursday to Sunday, so why can't season ticket holders from neutral clubs be allowed in for half-price?

In a nutshell, it's all about getting bums on seats (Oh! And making the ground look full on TV!).

#59 Dave T

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:08 PM


How would it remove the prestige? And which clubs wouldn't try as hard in the cup?

see my example earlier.

#60 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 07:19 AM

see my example earlier.

I think there's a structure that can be out in place to make sure that all Championship teams can be involved in a Plate competition regardless of how well they do in the Cup up to a certain point. It would however most likely involve seeding the 4th Round (which I think they should do anyway).
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